For those reading Lisa Harper’s book, Stumbling Into Grace, along with my small group, today’s devotional will match up with her first chapter: “Ewe Scared?” I hope you are enjoying the start of the book!
“‘This is what the LORD says: ‘Do not be afraid’”
(2 Kings 19:6).
I am in training to be a ninja.
There are splatter marks on my car door from where I have slammed my palm down on the pests who foolishly chose to land within my reach.
For those bugs who play it safe and land an inch or two farther away, I have a rolled up newspaper on the seat next to me. I am a prepared ninja.
During the first few days of school, fears of missing the bus and uncontainable excitement lured us outside not five minutes before the bus came, but ten, even twelve. There we stood, open to attack from the swarms of mosquitoes in my front yard.
I’m pretty certain I heard them sending messages to each other, “This family is out here every morning and every afternoon—just standing there in short sleeves and shorts with lots of skin to bite and blood to suck. Come over for breakfast and an early dinner.”
I have become a wise ninja. Now, we stand at the front door until the last possible minute and dash out to the bus just in time. The girls are off to school and we’re back inside before the mosquitoes know we’ve even been there.
I have practiced with the weaponry of the ninja. After two days of discovering red bites on my kids’ arms, legs, feet, necks and even faces, I pulled out the bug spray. We spritzed every inch of revealed skin.
But still I did not let my defenses down because mosquitoes are not always defeated by one weapon alone. One second after finishing the spray-coating of mosquito repellant on my two-year-old, a daring and bold bug landed on her leg. He mocked me as I stood there with my bug spray still in my hand.
I squished him.
In this all-out battle against mosquitoes, I am growing wiser and more capable by the day.
I hope I can say the same in my battle against the Enemy and the greatest weapon he uses against me — Fear.
Maybe you’re afraid sometimes, too. It’s not a God-thing “for God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). If we’re afraid it’s because Satan pushes fear on us. We must learn to recognize his tactics so that we can defeat the swarm of worry and anxiety he sends our way daily.
King Hezekiah faced an enemy who used fear tactics also. The king of Assyria had sent his greatest military big-shots with a large army to surround Jerusalem (2 Kings 18:17).
He had one goal—make the King of Judah so afraid that he’d surrender, just give up and hand over the keys to the holy city of God.
This was an enemy swarm if ever there was one.
The Assyrian field commander asked King Hezekiah’s messengers, “On what are you basing this confidence of yours? . . .On whom are you depending, that you rebel against me?” (2 Kings 18:19-20).
Isn’t this one of Satan’s favorite attack methods? He belittles our faith in God. He reminds us over and over of the impossible circumstances we face and ridicules our confidence that God can save us against all odds.
But our confidence in God is never mis-placed. Our faith in the midst of impossibilities may seem foolhardy to our enemy, but our God is faithful to deliver us. We have hope because of our God’s character–His might and power; His incredible mercy.
The prophet Jeremiah wrote,
This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “ The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “ Therefore I hope in Him!” (Lamentations 3:20-24).
So we must become vigilant warriors against the barbs of fear that Satan sends against us. The times when we look at our reality and think, “Even God can’t help me. It’s impossible.” The moments when we feel overwhelmed by our circumstances and Satan says, “just give up; it’d be so much easier.”
Satan sometimes makes the road to defeat seem more acceptable with minor compromises that lure us into giving up altogether. In the same way, the enemy commander suggested to Hezekiah, “Come now, make a bargain with my master, the king of Assyria” (2 Kings 18:23).
When we allow fear to take hold, we give in. We wave the white flag, accept whatever deal Satan is offering, and then run as fast as we can off the battlefield.
But Hezekiah ran to God instead.
He took the letter with the words from the enemy, carried it into the temple and “spread it out before the Lord” (2 Kings 19:14). Then He prayed. He declared God’s might. He denounced the enemy. He explained the problem that he faced. He begged God to “give ear, Lord, and hear; open your eyes, Lord, and see.”
Then Hezekiah made the greatest request of all: “Now, LORD our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, LORD, are God” (2 Kings 19:19).
Take what you are facing and spread it out on the altar before God. Tell Him all that you are afraid of and make a bold request—ask Him to be glorified in this circumstance. “Be awesome, be powerful, be mighty, be miraculous—do whatever it takes, Lord, to be glorified in this situation.”
The prophet Isaiah sent this message to King Hezekiah, “‘This is what the LORD says: ‘Do not be afraid'” (2 Kings 19:6).
Then God, in a complete and utter miracle, defeated the Assyrian army and sent them back to their homeland. And God was glorified!!
Don’t give in to fear, my friend. Don’t give up and miss out on God’s glory. Take it to the Lord and trust in Him to deliver you.
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2011 Heather King